Even though she came away from her last fight on the winning end, Heather Hardy really took the criticisms on her performance to heart.
In her third MMA bout, Heather Hardy defeated Ana Julaton via unanimous decision at Bellator 194, but she did so in a manner that diverged from the stand-up, striking-loaded style of fighting the undefeated boxer is known for. Hardy won the fight by outgrappling Julation, and the backlash from fans was so harsh that it brought Hardy to tears:
“I was crying the next day,” Hardy told MMA Junkie. “I had to put my social media down. I got better feedback from when that girl broke my face than I did with the boring jiu-jitsu fight. I insulted the masses.”
Heather Hardy will look to right this perceived wrong at Bellator 222 when she takes on Taylor Turner in Madison Square Garden. After having her life threatened by trolls, that was enough motivation for Heather Hardy to put entertainment first and winning second:
“All the fans hated it,” Hardy recalled of her last performance. “They were sending me death threats. And it was then that I realized before I’m an athlete, I’m a performer, I’m an entertainer, and if I’m not entertaining then it doesn’t matter. So my personal goals don’t really make a difference. I gotta go in there and beat the (expletive) out of of this girl, and I don’t really care how it looks, and give the fans what they want to see.”
What are your thoughts on how Heather Hardy has handled criticism following her last bout against Ana Julaton?